Sue and Mo at Harris Beach

Sue and Mo at Harris Beach
Sue and Mo at Harris Beach

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Year End

Current Location: Rocky Point, Oregon

As I wrote a year ago, this is what I think of as the blogger’s version of the Christmas letter.  I didn’t send a letter out this year, but I did send out one of those fancy little Shutterfly cards with photos and sentiments.  I even managed to sign them and add a note or two.  Seems again that the tradition of Christmas cards is slipping away.  I do love getting them, so am trying to keep up with the sending. 

I almost decided to skip the summaries, but realized as I was watching the Google and Facebook versions roll by, that perhaps I wanted a bit more control over how I remembered my year.  Nothing helps me remember quite as much as my photos.  This time, however, I think I’ll keep the words short and just let the year roll by. 

We began a three month journey through the Southwest and into Florida immediately after Christmas, traveling south to Desert Hot Springs, on to Arizona and into Texas, seeing Big Bend National Park for the first time001 January California to Big Bend

Winter on the Texas Coast was a new experience, and we thrilled at the bird life, the beautiful beaches and meeting some of our favorite people002 January Texas Coast

Taking a break from the MoHo, we cruised the Western Caribbean for some gorgeous water and tropical lands.003 February Caribbean Cruise

Back on the mainland and continuing south into Florida, we enjoyed the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches, meeting more friends along the way.004 February Florida BeachesSomeone once said you come to Florida for the beaches, but you stay for the rivers.  That was true for us, it is the rivers that will call us back to the Sunshine State someday.005 March Florida RiversReturning west through Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Nevada was also filled with amazing new experiences, and more visits with family and friends.006 March Crossing the Country We couldn’t help but linger along the way home in the red soul of the world, the Colorado Plateau, where I at last walked the magnificent corridors of Antelope Canyon.007 March Lingering in the Southwest There is no better place to be in the springtime and summer than right here at home in Rocky Point, with short trips to our little Cottage in Grants Pass, family time with kids and friends, beach getaways, and lots of kayaking.008 Springtime at home Summertime travels took us north to a family reunion in Washington and farther north into Canada to camp and kayak along the gorgeous Kootenay Lake.  Camping trips to Great Basin National Park and beautiful Medicine Lake with lots of hiking and kayaking rounded out the summer.009 Summer Travels and Camping Fall was gorgeous, both in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, at Crater Lake with family for my birthday, and in Vermont celebrating a dear friend’s wedding.  10 Fall Travels Once again we are enjoying the Holidays at home, with a family Thanksgiving and Christmas here in Rocky Point.12 Thanksgiving and Christmas

Of course, our hearts are still missing our animals, Jeremy who left us in September, and Abby who passed peacefully at home just a month later.6-Jeremy the cat

No summary of the year however, would be complete without celebrating the beautiful people who crossed our paths and shared our lives and made everything richer with their friendship and love.

37-12-06-2014 Rocky Point Ladies Luncheon1

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December Days

Current Location: Rocky Point Oregon 45 degrees F at 5pm

We have no snow, not a bit to be found unless we drive to 7,000 feet elevation or more into the Cascades above us.  Through the clouds, sometimes there is a break, and I can see a dusting on the trees on Pelican Butte and Mt Harriman in the Mountain Lakes Wilderness.

Putting up the decorations (8 of 10)This year not a speck of snow

Makes it easy to put up Christmas lights, I must say.  No slipping on the ice, crawling through big snow berms and such.  Last year at this time Mo and I were shoveling and plowing in an unsuccessful attempt to stay ahead of the dumping white stuff.  This year the lawns are still green.

testing different methods for shooting the Christmas lightsLast year on the same date, and yes…there is Abby

In the past few years, however, it seems that winter comes later and later, with not much to speak of until after Christmas.  Still, it is obvious that winter is upon us.  The days are short and dark, and when the sun does appear it is very low in the sky. 

Christmas quilts and decorations (25 of 25) Christmas quilts and decorations (21 of 25) Christmas quilts and decorations (23 of 25)

After a week at home, while I finished up the three kid Christmas quilts, we took off again for Grants Pass and the Cottage.  Mo’s brother Dan came down to spend a couple of days with us to help Mo with some more of the electrical work.  Mo also managed to get the newly moved bathtub to finally drain properly.  Long story and boring, but enough to say that the tub now drains and the breakers no longer flip off at the slightest provocation.  They even got a new box to the old tool shed ready for plenty of amps to eventually make it out to the RV shed.Dan helping Mo with the electricity (2 of 16)

It was a simple time for me, and I worked inside on Christmas projects while Mo and Dan rumbled around in the rain and mud.  Got some nice visiting in with daughter Deborah in the evenings when she got home from work, and managed to keep everyone well fed. 

Dan helping Mo with the electricity (7 of 16)On our way home back to Rocky Point, we decided to take the old road through Gold Hill toward Sams Valley instead of our usual interstate trek back to Highway 140. We ambled through Gold Hill and had a spontaneous hot dog lunch at a little stand along the main street.  Then as we continued east, we saw signs for Ti’lomihk Falls on the Rogue River.

Rogue River at Gold HIll (1 of 13) We parked just in time to watch a rafter and a paddleboarder go down the rapids.  The interpretive signs at the park were wonderful, but I neglected to get a photo of them.  This website explains what we learned about the “stone chair” that was central to the ceremony to honor the first salmon of the season for the Talkelma tribe.   ON the website is the story of the planned whitewater park, and a video of Grandmother Agness Baker Pilgrim, one of the oldest surviving members of the tribe, speaking of the salmon ceremony and the stone chair.Rogue River at Gold HIll (5 of 13)

Yesterday was the annual Rocky Point Ladies Luncheon.  The luncheon is a tradition that has been going on for several years, and in the past was held at the local social club building, with some women decorating tables and the men cooking and serving.  Stuff happens, things change, but a sweet lady here in Rocky Point, Gina, didn’t want to let it slip away so she set up our luncheon in a brand new venue.

I was a bit recalcitrant about it…at first, i didn’t even want to go if it was just going to be lunch in a restaurant.  Glad I changed my mind. 

We have a new place to go in “town”.  Our community does not have a post office or a school and only one tiny store a few miles east on 140, but we do have a fire station.  That volunteer fire department generates a lot of community support.  But as far as a real town goes, we don’t have one here.  But now we do have a “resort”. Ladies Luncheon at Harriman Resort (56 of 60)

Like Rocky Point Resort, and Point Comfort, Harriman Springs has been a presence here for many years.  When Mo first started coming to Rocky Point in the late 80’s she would have lunch at the little marina store and cafe that was on the edge of the spring.  Things changed, the little marina closed.  Recently, the owner of the land adjacent to the spring decided to upgrade the property and build what he hopes will be a world class resort.Ladies Luncheon at Harriman Resort (53 of 60)

If the quality of the restaurant is any indication, he is going to succeed.  We have all been waiting impatiently for the restaurant to open, watching along on Facebook on their page, and checking in now and then to see how things are progressing. 

1-12-06-2014 Rocky Point Ladies LuncheonYesterday, we got to see the new restaurant in action, with a truly delightful luncheon put on for our community ladies.  Lyman, the executive chef is duly proud of what he is doing with the menu, and we were the lucky recipients of his creations, with a special party before the place is actually open. It was as much fun as the previous years, and a lot less work.  I missed decorating the tables, and the men cooking, but oh my…the food was delectable the conversations were great and the views were beautiful.  I even wore those six inch high heels I bought for Jeanne’s wedding!  Love having any excuse to dress up, especially when I don’t have to walk too far.

 Putting up the decorations (1 of 10)Oh my…the mess of it!

I am putting up the rest of the house decorations, and retreating to my computer for the next couple of weeks in an attempt to complete the gargantuan scanning project that I started last Spring.  Sheesh!  It is taking forever…and not a small amount of time is spent scratching my head trying to figure out which year that was.  Photos for the kids, scanned and put on an external drive.  I decided it was way better than trying to get them all printed and given to each of them.  That would have been impossible.  It has been fun, though, and I have enjoyed perusing the past and writing small summaries of the years so the kids know where they were when.  1973 Christmas at Schumanns-001

A scanned photo of my 4 kids and me at Christmas 1973 

Deborah behind me, Deanna left, Melody middle, and John right.

I think when that job is done, I can simply sit and enjoy Christmas.